July 18, 2013
(SitNews) Haines, Alaska – A humpback whale fully entangled in gillnet fishing gear south of Haines was reported by a fisherman at about 7 a.m. Wednesday to the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region.
NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard partnered on the response, with NOAA deploying their whale disentanglement team (cetacean scientists and veterinarians from NOAA’s Auke Bay Lab and Alaska Regional Office in Juneau), and the Coast Guard providing transportation and a platform for disentanglement operations.
Before NOAA and the Coast Guard arrived on the scene, the fisherman was able to free the whale and it swam away.
This is the third whale entanglement report to NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region this season, but the first their whale disentanglement team had enough information regarding location to respond to.
The NOAA team is highly specialized to deal with these large animals, and they are equipped with tools designed specifically for freeing entangled marine mammals.
If you spot a marine mammal in distress or entangled, NOAA aska that you please do not attempt to rescue the animal yourself. Under no circumstances should you get into the water with the animal.
NOAA statewide 24-hour stranding hotline at 877-925-7773.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
Source of News:
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service
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